Workers at the Agricultural Extension Division in St John’s could be heard chanting slogans like “demolish it”, “we need a change”, “broken tiles”, “poor working conditions” and “deplorable toilet facilities”, as they assembled outside the PDO building opposite the King George V grounds on Friday morning.
About 15 workers abandoned their duties to protest what they say is an unacceptable working environment.
“It’s deplorable,” said Sandra Williams, General Secretary of the Antigua and Barbuda Public Service Association (ABPSA).
“They have poor bathroom facilities, furniture breaking down, mold in the building, people getting sick with skin conditions, all sorts of things are happening.”
She continued to say that the roof is leaking and doors and tiles are coming apart.
According to Williams, complaints about the working environment have been communicated to various key personnel within the Ministry but no one is taking responsibility for fixing the dilapidated building.
The General Secretary, who said the workers are suffering, further explained that several letters were written by the extension officer outlining the health and safety conditions inside the PDO.
“Public Works says that the building belongs to Social Security; Social Security claims they only acquired the building last year. So who is responsible for fixing the building?” she questioned.
Williams said one thing is for sure, workers will continue to protest until the building is fixed and that officials deal with the untenable conditions under which they are forced to work.
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